ENG vs SA, ODI World Cup 2023: No room for error, says Buttler after third loss in four games

ICC ODI World Cup 2023: England is currently placed at the ninth spot with just two points in its kitty after one win in its first four games.

Published : Oct 21, 2023 22:35 IST , MUMBAI - 3 MINS READ

England came into the ODI World Cup as the defending champion and was also considered one of the favourites in this edition of the tournament. However, a fortnight and three defeats later, a spot in the semifinals looks difficult for Jos Buttler’s men.

And, after suffering a 229-run defeat against South Africa at the Wankhede Stadium, the England captain admitted that the road to the last-four will be ‘incredibly difficult’. “We haven’t left ourselves any margin from this point in. But we’ll keep the belief,” Buttler said.

England is currently placed at the ninth spot with just two points in its kitty. Though quite a few mathematical calculations can still take it to the semifinals, Buttler believes that there’s no room for error. “It certainly leaves us in a tough position. There’s no room for error from here on in. That’s going to be incredibly tough, but we’ll sit down and go again,” Buttler said, adding: “That’s all you can do in this situation…”

READ | Top 10 biggest defeats in ODI World Cup history

England suffered a shock defeat against Afghanistan in Delhi last week and hoped to bounce back against South Africa. However, Heinrich Klaasen and Marco Jansen’s blitzkrieg in the last 10 overs meant South Africa put up 399 for seven - the highest ever ODI total against England and the second-highest at the venue. Buttler thought that the Klaasen innings took things away from England.

“Yeah, I think that was the main bit of the game. We had them five down there, and if we could have found a way to break that partnership and take another wicket, we could have looked like restricting them to 340 or 350, which probably would have been a really good chase on that pitch,” Buttler said.

“I think getting up to 400 was an excellent score, it sort of took the wind away from us and it was always going to be tough from there, we needed everything to go perfect to pull off a chase like that…”

To add to England’s woes, Reece Topley suffered a finger injury, while Adil Rashid was taken ill. “Obviously, Rash (Rashid) was struggling a little bit with the sickness before the game, but I felt like he could get out there and perform and performed really well. So, credit to him for that,” Buttler said.

“Reece obviously took a nasty blow on his finger, which we’ll see tomorrow. But, it’s a character to come back and try. Physically, it was a really demanding innings…”

England won the toss and fielded first - a decision that backfired in the end. “It makes you question maybe (whether) in those kinds of conditions batting first may have been the right call at the toss…”

England travels to Bengaluru next for its game against Sri Lanka on October 26.

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